Buena Vista's English subsidiary has published a list of potential release dates for new editions of classic anime films directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Interestingly enough the first of the films, Porco Rosso, which is slated for an April 2004 release in the UK, will be featured at Austin Film Fest on October 14. The new English dub features Michael Keaton in the title role with Cary Elwes as Donald Curtis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley as Fio, and Susan Egan as Gina. According to Nausicca.net, Studio Ghibli reps are calling this new version of Porco Rosso the best dub version ever of a Ghibli film.
The intensely personal Porco Rosso is one of Miyazaki's best films, with ravishing Italian backgrounds, brilliantly rendered post-World War I seaplanes, and some of the best flying scenes ever animated. If it is being released in the UK in 2004, we should also see it here in the U.S., probably even prior to its UK release (Kiki's Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky, which are coming out in the UK in November, have been available here since the spring). But there is even more good news--Nausicaa Valley of the Wind and My Neighbor Totoro are scheduled be released in the UK in November of 2004. Although Nausicaa was released in the US in a butchered form in the 1980s and Totoro has been available in a dubbed version from Sony, it will be a real gift to anime fans to see these classic films as they should be seen.